For many people, the transition from November to December can come as something of a shock: they suddenly realise it’s nearly Christmas, and there are things to organise and presents to buy. To add to this, choosing presents has become even more of a problem with words and phrases like ‘sustainability’ and ‘zero waste’ ringing in our ears. So what better place to head for than Made in Hastings with its range of hand-made objects that can bring more than fleeting pleasure.

Hastings is full of creatives, and it’s good to know that, as well as finding some of their wares at a Christmas fair, you can pop in to 82 High Street in the Old Town any day of the week and take your pick from a wide selection of locally made art and craft objects. 

Made in Hastings opened in the summer of 2004 to provide an outlet for the work of the founding members Sue (print on textile), Josephine (knitwear), Sophie (bookbinding), Judith (pottery), Claire (paintings) and Melanie (now a teacher) who first met at an Open Studio sale. Between them, they realised they could share their skills, experiences and expertise to focus on their individual businesses as well as having somewhere to sell their own work and showcase many other local makers.

As Sophie says: “We take great care to find, and really enjoy selecting and selling products that we feel are representative of the many talented local makers in and around Hastings. These makers produce diverse work, demonstrating a commitment to quality and originality that is not always easy to find.”

And every year they work with Peter Quinnell from the Sussex Coast College to promote a project with the illustration students by giving them window space to sell their products. 

“Made stocks a range of good quality, timeless goods, things to suit all occasions; and is the perfect place for finding Christmas presents for all the family,” says Josephine. “We have cashmere and linen scarves, turned wooden bowls and spoons, elegant perfumes and candles, wintery whimsical prints, decorated pottery, tea towels, UK-made woolly socks and beautifully bound sketchbooks; as well as Christmas cards… and many stocking fillers and other treasures!”

Over the Christmas period Made will be offering a Click and Collect service for locals who would rather not be out in shops; although the doors will be open every day of the week, 10.30am-5pm.

Talking about the 17 years since setting up the store, Josephine says: “We are all still so enthusiastic and passionate about our Old Town shop and are so grateful to our lovely regular customers, who have supported us over the years – and look forward to welcoming plenty of new ones too!”

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